CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE

Re: Local 572 Update

Dear Members,

As we enter this Memorial Day weekend, I want to start this update by acknowledging and expressing our gratitude to all military personnel who have lost their lives serving our country. After all, this is what Memorial Day is all about. For those of us who served in the military or who have lost family or friends in the military, this holiday weekend is bittersweet. We remember and honor the past, while we look forward to the beginning of summer and all the adventure that it brings. Whatever you do this weekend, please take a moment to send good thoughts and prayers to all who have lost a loved one in the military. And, of course, be safe. 

Like everyone else, we continue to work through the stay at home government mandates which require social distancing. While we’re pleased that our communities are proceeding through the re-opening stages, we remain leery of moving too quickly. We still have many members testing positive for COVID-19 and we are all too familiar with how quickly things can take a downturn. Safety first. Now and always. 

Our front office remains closed to walk-ins, but our office staff continues to work, as do our business agents. If you have any questions about your workplace, contact your business agent. As in all my other updates, I’ve included a list of our business agents’ cell phone numbers at the bottom of this message. Make sure to visit our website for regular updates. We can be found at: https://www.teamsters572.org. 

As you’re aware, government mandates have required our Local to cancel our regular monthly general membership meetings, including the May 17th meeting.  In lieu of the meetings, we’ve incorporated in this update some of the items that are normally addressed at general membership meetings, including business agent reports. As a reminder, I’ve been sending out regular updates since the COVID-19 mandates went into effect, so keep an eye out for them. If you don’t receive our emails, please contact your business agent to make sure we have your current email address.

Our Executive Board met by conference call on April 25th as scheduled, and will meet again this Saturday, May 23rd. 

We remain steadfast in our commitment to keep you as safe as possible at your worksite during this pandemic, especially since we continue to see numerous members testing positive, with the latest outbreak at our Ralphs warehouse. Our DASH transit drivers are seeing added safety measures as a result of our work with Mayor Garcetti’s office, but the danger of exposure is constant as they work transporting the general public throughout the day. We continue to address safety concerns and changes to the work environment as more employers prepare to resume business. It’s still unknown what public schools and the transportation of students will look like in the fall, so stay tuned as plans firm up district by district. 

I recently met with representatives of Congress to advocate for the passage of the Butch Lewis Act to protect our hard-earned pensions. Teamsters, along with a vast majority of unions nationwide, strongly object to the passage of the GROW Act which the Republicans are pushing. Unfortunately, the pending stimulus package includes the GROW Act so we anxiously await future developments. This fight is not over. 

At the request of LAUSD Superintendent Beutner, our Local recently transported approximately 200,000 pounds of donated See’s candy from See’s stores to an LAUSD warehouse. The candy was distributed to families at the District’s Grab and Go sites—imagine the excitement! This involved a lot of hard work on hot days but our business agents, our organizer, and I were happy to be able to help. A special thanks goes to Business Agents Jaime Villanueva and John Flammia for their dedication to getting this job successfully completed.  

Both the Teamsters Joint Council 42 Scholarship and the California Teamsters Hispanic Caucus Scholarship have extended their application deadlines due to the pandemic. Neither has reported a firm extension date, but they appear eager to increase the number of applicants so we’re encouraging all eligible students to get their applications submitted as soon as possible. 

BUSINESS AGENT REPORTS

Adriana Salazar Avila

As LAUSD is transitioning from one school year to another, some members report being called back to work. If you are being asked to report to work, consider whether your work can be performed from home or if there are “work arounds” that may minimize your need to physically report. If the answer to either is yes, email your supervisor, with me on copy (asalazar@teamsters572.org) letting them know that you would like to continue to work from home and/or have specific work arounds that can allow you to continue to work remotely. Unfortunately, for some of our members, especially those in M&O, ITD, and Facilities, this is not a readily available option.  If you are directed to report – you need to make sure it is safe to do so.  Have you been issued proper PPE?  Will your worksite practice social distancing? If you do not feel safe, you need to speak up.  Let your site administrator know that it is unsafe for you to be present and, more importantly, why!  Send them an email with me on copy.

All members who do physically report to a school site will earn a stipend.  Those working with the Grab and Go project will continue to earn a $100/day stipend, while those reporting to physical sites will earn an additional $5/hour.  You may not claim both.  To date, the District is still trying to figure out how to process stipend payments. Please continue to keep track of all dates and hours you physically report.

Lastly, all members should be working on their $1500 Supervisor Training stipend that we recently negotiated so that you have an opportunity to earn extra money while improving your professional skills.  You can register for the courses by logging in to MyPLN and then searching for the following courses: https://pclausd.wordpress.com/  and selecting Classified Supervisors.  Please note that some classes are mandatory. 

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, I am only an email, text or phone call away.  

Doug Brown

GCC: I am still negotiating several GCC contracts remotely due to COVID-19. There are substantial layoffs in the industry. I also continue to work with both employers and employees to take advantage of the various assistance programs. 

Costco:  The attendance policy vote count has been postponed until further notice. COVID-19 benefits that the Teamsters Costco National Committee previously negotiated have been extended. The Hero pay (additional $2/hr) has been extended through June 28th.  COVID-19 stay home benefits for employees 65 and older or those with underlying health conditions expired on May 17; members who desire to remain off work may apply for an unpaid LOA with no effect on their attendance or medical insurance. The unpaid LOA also applies to those who must remain home due to childcare issues. I urge all employees that are on an unpaid leave to apply for EDD benefits. Note that you may need a doctor’s note to qualify. We continue to address safety concerns with Costco and will keep a close eye on things as restrictions start to relax in our communities.  

I have been processing grievances remotely and been visiting shops when there is essential business to be conducted; otherwise, I am handling issues remotely.  Please be safe out there. 

Grace Guitron

STA/Lancaster:  Members continue to deliver meals on wheels. We are still waiting to hear from the District on whether this service will continue during the summer break.  

First Student/Hesperia:  Some members are delivering meals for the Victor ES District and will continue to do so until June. 

First Student/Palm Springs: All members will continue to deliver meals until the summer break. PSUSD has yet to announce whether this service will continue during the summer. 

The Authority (AKA MARTA) Big Bear and Crestline locations started running all routes on May 11th. 

Jaime Villanueva

Gate Gourmet and ACTS: We are still waiting for information regarding funding under the CARES Act for catering and related airline industry companies. We will update you as soon as we learn more and specifically, on how the money will be distributed. We look forward to airlines increasing the number of daily flights. 

Keolis: Due to some unexpected resignations, all members must call in daily at your designated times and the company will continue to pay you.  

Pepsi, Aramark, Transdev and Western States Glass: Make sure you are following safety protocols and wearing personal protective equipment.  Call me immediately if you have any safety concerns. 

John Flammia

With volume at the UPS Gardena building hitting record levels, we are actively working at both the local and national levels to relieve our overworked members. UPS has launched a friends and family hiring program. If you know someone interested in working at UPS, give their contact information to human resources. We have reached an agreement with the company to allow our part-time members to deliver packages from their personal vehicles at top driver rate of pay before or after their primary shift. The requirements are posted in the building, and HR has the forms to apply. The company has implemented the 70hr rule—all hours over 60 are paid at double time.  Please continue to wear face masks in the building and abide by social distancing. 

Michael Williams

Members at all locations are affected by COVID-19 in one way or another. Due to the extended school closures, school districts are now starting to terminate payments to school bus employers. This has resulted in furloughs for many of our members. As of the printing of this update, most employers have not received fall semester session start dates for student transportation. Stay tuned for information. Please notify our front office of any change of mailing address, and make sure we have your email address for important updates. 

Durham/San Bernardino: Drivers and attendants that bid the meals on wheels routes are currently scheduled to run these routes through June 30th. We have continued to work on open grievances and have been successful in resolving several grievances regarding benefits and seniority. I am pleased to announce that in each of the grievances filed, we received favorable settlements resulting in substantial payments to our members.

Storer/Palmdale:  The company has received the greenlight from the Palmdale School District to begin routing for the fall with a tentative start date of August 15th. In addition, all Storer mechanics were recalled from layoff to begin the process of performing routine maintenance and CHP inspections in preparation of new semester route start-ups. We negotiated an agreement with the company that assures drivers who were not eligible for EDD benefits will be paid 5.5 hours retroactively for the entire furlough period until the end of the school year. 

First Student/Pasadena: Negotiation dates were put on hold due to COVID-19 social distancing mandates. We will soon be in contact with bargaining committee members to discuss strategies for moving forward.  

First Student/St Andrews: Members and shop stewards will be notified regarding the bargaining committee selection process. 

Mike Ford

Every single day we have our LAUSD members showing what it means to not only be “essential” but “exceptional.” Our members in various classifications are working the “Grab and Go” Food Banks that are not only feeding students but the community as well.  None of this goes on without our members—sanitizing schools, making sure employees get paid, members dealing with the very computer marrow of the system, etc. On and on—our members’ dedication is keeping the District going and helping the community through this tough time. Currently we are going through talks with the Food Service Department regarding summer school staffing. They heard us loud and clear that they must follow our contract for staffing.  Please take advantage of the training stipends that we worked hard to negotiate. They put money in your pocket and are of value in your career. We will provide updates as information becomes available regarding the upcoming school year.  

Steve Badger

Ralphs:  We filed a grievance against the company because driver seniority was being violated by dispatchers when drivers worked their day off.  I am pleased to report we settled the grievance and that Ralphs will honor driver seniority work when drivers work their day off.  With the Memorial Day holiday, the volume has been very high. This means a lot of overtime, including six days for those who are on an 8-hour shift and five days for those who are on a 10-hour shift. 

Canteen Vending & Puritan Bakery:  Good news. The companies have started recalling furloughed/laid off members. 

Tait Skifstrom

Ralphs Grocery Company: If you are working at the Compton facility you know that more and more members have been testing positive and/or being forced to self-quarantine. To try to reduce infections, the company has adjusted the schedules and hired a Hazmat cleaning team to sanitize the warehouse daily. Unfortunately, the company is temporarily transferring 22 stores to Riverside and all unnecessary personnel transfers are on hold.  Local 572, the Joint Council 42 Food Industry Locals, and the IBT Warehouse Division continue to pressure the company to ease discipline on labor standards and attendance infractions while there is an ongoing crisis. We are monitoring the changes in employees’ time (standards) with the new safety guidelines mandated by state and local government. We are also appealing to the company to continue the Hero pay program so be on the lookout for emails and website and Facebook postings for updates. 

MV Transportation & Beach Cities Transit:  I am in constant contact with the companies regarding their safety and deep cleaning practices. If you believe that the company isn’t taking your best interest at hand, please contact me immediately. They should be doing more than the minimum CDC guidelines to keep you safe.

Traci Smith

Transit facilities are continuing to improve their procedures for providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizing their equipment and facilities. These changes may not be convenient, but the goal is to keep you safe so you can return safely home each day to your families. Please be mindful of this fact and follow all safety guidelines and rules.  Transit operations should prepare for shake up bids in the next couple of weeks to come. Keep your eye out for details about this. 

For school bus operations, it does not look like any summer school for districts, but for MST/LA, summer camps are tentatively scheduled to begin in June.

I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of Youlanda Tucker, originally from MST/Long Beach, and most recently of First Student/Long Beach North, who recently passed away due to complications related to COVID-19. We will miss your warmth, your humor, and your radiant smile.

ANNOUNCEMENT

It appears we may be holding our June 28th general membership meeting via Zoom because of social distancing requirements. This is something we never envisioned and hope that we can soon start having our regular in-person meetings. Stay tuned for detailed information about this. The shop steward training for June is cancelled.

Have a fun and SAFE Memorial Day weekend.

Fraternally,

TEAMSTERS LOCAL 572

R.E. Middleton

Secretary-Treasurer

 

Local 572 Business Agent Cell Phone Numbers:

Adriana Salazar Avila (310) 365-7872

Doug Brown (310) 415-0375

Grace Guitron (310) 345-9326

Jaime Villanueva (310) 650-0032

John Flammia (310) 702-3479

Michael Williams (310) 991-2963

Mike Ford (310) 499-3556

Steve Badger (310) 345-9734

Tait Skifstrom (310) 345-9534

Traci Smith (310) 345-9732

 

Sources of Information/Assistance: 

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Teamsters Local 572
450 E. Carson Plaza
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Carson, CA 90746

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